The following is engraved on a plaque in the officers' wardroom. The lines on the plaque are centered: U.S.S. CAINE DMS 18 / This ship is named for / Arthur Wingate Caine / Commander U.S. Navy / who died of wounds received / in running gun battle / between submarine and / vessel he commanded, / U.S.S. Jones. / The submarine was sunk in / the engagement.
The scars on Van Johnson's face in this film are real, not makeup. While filming A Guy Named Joe, Johnson was in an automobile accident and thrown through the car's windshield. The plastic surgery of the day could not totally remove his scars. In all his later films he wore heavy makeup to hide them but felt that, in this film, they added to his character's appearance.
The typhoon referenced in the film and court martial was an actual typhoon known as "Typhoon Cobra," which struck Adm. William F. Halsey's Task Force 38 on 17 December 1944. As correctly stated in the film the actual storm did result in the sinking of three ships - the destroyers Spence, Hull and Monaghan.
The USS Caine was played by the Navy destroyer-minesweeper USS Thompson.
There was considerable opposition to the casting of Humphrey Bogart, since he was much older than Captain Queeg was supposed to be. In addition, Bogart was already seriously ill with espohagal cancer, although it would not be diagnosed until January 1956.
This film gave aspiring actor (and Humphrey Bogart fan) Maurice Micklewhite the inspiration for his screen name, Michael Caine.
This marked a spectacular comeback for director Edward Dmytryk, formerly one of the "Hollywood Ten" who had been jailed for contempt of Congress and for lying under oath while being investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee because of his former membership in the American Communist party. Such was the effectiveness of the film that Dmytryk even received a DGA nomination.
This movie's opening prologue states: "There has never been a mutiny in a ship of the United States Navy. The truths of this film lie not in its incidents but in the way a few men meet the crisis of their lives. The time - World War II . . . "
To capture the excitement of the typhoon scene, the filmmakers originally intended to steer the ship (a replica of the USS Caine) into an actual gale for the bad-weather footage. It was eventually decided that the typhoon would be artificially created in a studio by special effects technician Lawrence W. Butler.
When Humphrey Bogart broke bread into small pieces to symbolize the deteriorating state of Queeg's mental condition, a military advisor on the set told him that no naval officer would eat bread that way.
When Ens. Willis Seward Keith went away with May to Yosemite, they witnessed the famous Fire Fall. At 9:00 each evening in Camp Curry, the crowd which had gathered for the nightly campfire program, would fall silent. A man would call out to the top of Glacier Point "Let the Fire Fall!", and a faint reply could be heard from the top of the mountain. Then a great bonfire of red fir bark would be pushed evenly over the edge of the cliff, appearing to the onlookers below as a glowing waterfall of sparks and fire. In 1968 the Park Service Director decided that the Firefall tradition should come to an end. He reasoned that since it was just a man-made attraction, and one which caused a great deal of congestion in the park, as well as damage to the meadows from the trampling of onlookers, that it wasn't worth continuing. He went as far as to point out that it caused the unnatural and unnecessary removal of red-fir bark from the park grounds.
While there never was a "Caine" in the US Navy, there WAS a DMS-18 (the hull number of the Caine). It was the Hamilton, converted from a destroyer in 1942.